Search for new regents continues

A legislative advisory council began interviewing candidates Monday for the four open spots on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents.

Conor Shine

The search for new members for the University of MinnesotaâÄôs governing board continued Monday with the first of three days of candidate interviews.

Four spots on the UniversityâÄôs 12-member Board of Regents, which approves budgets, new building plans and policy changes, are open this spring.

On Monday, six candidates were interviewed by the Regent Candidate Advisory Council, a group of citizens that will select at least two applicants for each opening to be voted on by a joint committee of the Legislature.

Among those interviewed were David Larson, a current University regent and former Cargill, Inc. executive; Laura Brod, a former state representative and the only female candidate up for consideration; Steven Sviggum, a former speaker of the House and commissioner of the stateâÄôs budget office; and Robert Ostlund, who served as the superintendent of the Wayzata school district until 2008.

Ten more candidates will be interviewed in public meetings Tuesday and Wednesday and the council will vote on which names to forward to the Legislature Wednesday afternoon.

The Legislature must replace regents representing Districts 2, 3 and 8, which include counties south of the metro area, the northern suburbs of Hennepin County and northeastern Minnesota.

One at-large spot must also be filled and Regent Steven Hunter has reapplied for the position.

Regents serve staggered, unpaid, six-year terms on the board with new members chosen every two years.

Many of Monday’s questions focused on the candidatesâÄô vision for the University and how they see the board fitting into the overall governance of the school.